Cinema’s Greatest “That Guy!” Character Actors

Michael Clarke Duncan was a towering presence with a booming voice to match, and we were sad to hear of his recent passing. The sky-high actor was a fan favorite who could easily channel his menacing side, but always seemed right at home playing the gentle giant. As Michael Bay recently put it (Duncan worked with the explosion-obsessed filmmaker on Armageddon), “Everyone loved him, his infectious spirit and great belly laugh.” The Green Mile star was one of those “That guy!” character actors who you recognized the instant you saw him, but you didn’t always remember his name. Thinking about Duncan’s work got us talking about other stars we love to watch on the big screen who aren’t always instantly recognizable household names. Brace for a few “Aha!” moments, and check out some of the greatest “that guy” actors past the break. We’ve left plenty of room on the list so you can include your favorites, below.

That guy: Lance Henriksen

Where you know him from: Henriksen has nearly 200 acting credits on website IMDb, but chances are you know him as the android Bishop in James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi sequel, Aliens. The Titanic director actually wanted Henriksen to play the menacing Terminator in his 1984 film, but the role ended up going to Arnold Schwarzenegger with Henriksen starring as a detective. He’s also lent his sonorous vocal talents to many projects.

Trademarks: The actor is known for his deep, gravelly voice and intense performances. Henriksen’s always played the best film baddies — like the memorable Emil Fouchon in John Woo’s Hard Target — but he’s equally riveting as a quiet hero.